Winstanley: I can’t live up to that nine-darter

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It was the most memorable moment of his career so far but Dean Winstanley has blamed his downturn in form on his World Championship nine-dart finish.

Conisbrough’s PDC ace produced the perfect leg in his defeat to Vincent van der Voort at the Alexandra Palace in December.

Since then, Winstanley’s form has been poor and he only secured a place at the UK Open – which starts tonight – at the final qualifying event.

The 32-year-old former BDO World Championship finalist believes there is no coincidence his form has suffered since the nine-darter.

“It’s been hard to live up to that moment and I’ve not been quite right since,” Winstanley said.

“It was such a massive, history-making moment and I went crazy with my celebration after I hit it. The last few months have been disappointing but I’ve started to turn things around in the last few weeks.

“I go into this week playing at about 75 per cent but I’ve put in some hard practice so hopefully I’ll be up to scratch for the UK Open.”

Winstanley will meet Dave Weston in tonight’s first round, live on Sky Sports.